New York Times Joins Disney Movie Boycott Over LA Times Blackout

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New York Times Joins Disney Movie Boycott Over LA Times Blackout

Now people are wondering: Will the two most prominent awards ceremonies hosted by critics and entertainment journalists - the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globe Awards and the Broadcast Film Critics Association's and Broadcast Television Journalist Association's Critics' Choice Awards - be the next to slap back at Disney?

Other outlets have also vowed to not attend and therefore review Disney movies until the ban is lifted.

Last week, Disney criticized the Los Angeles Times for not meeting "basic journalistic standards" in reporting about Disneyland in Anaheim and made a decision to ban the newspaper's journalists from advance screenings of its films (which includes Star Wars and Marvel Studios films). "This is a unsafe precedent and not at all in the public interest", noted a spokesperson in a statement. Disney had said that the Times "showed a complete disregard for basic journalistic standards" with that story, though it has not publicly claimed there were any errors in the article.

It is admittedly extraordinary for a critics' group, let alone four critics' groups, to take any action that might penalize film artists for decisions beyond their control. Several film critics' associations announced that they would blacklist Disney films from receiving awards this year.

This announcement came after outlets across the country, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and the A.V. Club called for a boycott of reviewing Disney films, citing solidarity with The L.A. Times. The key line from that statement bundles the Disney action with signals coming from the White House: "Disney's actions. are antithetical to the principles of a free press and set a unsafe precedent in a time of already heightened hostility toward journalists".

"We've had productive discussions with the newly installed leadership at The Los Angeles Times regarding our specific concerns, and as a result we've agreed to restore access to advance screenings for their film critics", Disney said in today's statement. The New York Film Critics Circle votes for its annual awards on November 30.

Disney and Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok opened last Friday with an estimated $121-million (U.S.) haul at the box office. It added that the Times published a "biased and inaccurate series, wholly driven by a political agenda".

A company spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The two-part LA Times investigative report examined the company's relationship and impact on the California city where Disneyland theme park is located. We've had a long relationship with the L.A. Times, and we hope they will adhere to balanced reporting in the future. Disney's upcoming films are the Pixar release "Coco" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi".

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